Game of Thrones cut key details from Daenerys’ story in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, and it had a big impact on her ending.
- Game of Thrones’ cuts to Daenerys Targaryen’s arc had a negative impact on her story and ending, making her villain turn controversial.
- The show did not adequately set up Dany becoming the “Mad Queen” due to key details from the books being cut.
- Including Daenerys’ prophecies and visions would have strengthened her character and given her motivations and actions more depth and credibility.
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Among the many changes Game of Thrones made to the A Song of Ice and Fire books were some key cuts in Daenerys Targaryen’s arc, and they ended up having a negative impact on her story and overall ending. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) was one of Game of Thrones‘ great heroes, which made her eventual villain turn in season 8 not only shocking, but incredibly controversial. Despite how much time passed in Game of Thrones, there were arguments that Dany becoming the so-called “Mad Queen” had not been set up by the show.
In truth, Game of Thrones‘ ending was always going to be divisive, and that’s especially true of Daenerys’ story. If she was always destined to become the villain, then there would always be those who couldn’t accept that. Still, there were certainly issues with how quickly it happened in Game of Thrones season 8. However, it could have fared better if it had included some crucial details from the books that were unfortunately cut.
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Game Of Thrones Cut Major Daenerys Prophecies From A Song Of Ice & Fire
Daenerys Targaryen’s story in Game of Thrones is one that’s driven, in part, by a sense of destiny, and that’s in turn impacted by a number of prophecies she either sees or hears. Some of these made it into Game of Thrones, such as seeing herself in the Red Keep’s Throne Room back in season 2, or her interactions with the mysterious Quaithe around the same time. That said, Game of Thrones mostly only paid lip-service to these ideas, with George R.R. Martin’s books going into far greater detail concerning her prophecies.
The House of the Undying sequence is a particularly stark contrast. Game of Thrones showed her in the Throne Room and meeting with Khal Drogo and their son beyond the Wall, but A Clash of Kings had no fewer than 18 different visions in this scene, as well as hearing words of prophecy. This included being told to expect “three treasons,” and that “three fires you must light.” The visions link back to everything from her childhood to the death of Viserys Targaryen, Mirri Maz Duur, and a mention of The Prince That Was Promised prophecy.
Similarly, in A Dance with Dragons, Quaithe returns to make more prophecies and give warnings to Daenerys, which never happened in Game of Thrones. This includes directly telling her to “remember the Undying,” as well as making other ominous warnings about looming threats and betrayals coming towards Daenerys. Game of Thrones likely cut these due to a combination of time constraints and streamlining the narrative, but together they combine to make Dany a character whose story really is one of destiny, who is invested in and worried about these prophecies, far more than the show managed.
How Daenerys’ Prophecies Would Have Improved Her Game Of Thrones Ending
Including more of Daenerys’ prophecies and visions would have helped her Game of Thrones story in a couple of different ways. Firstly, as mentioned, she is a character who is shaped by destiny: this would have given far greater credence to the idea that she would do anything it takes in order to make that destiny a reality, because of how much she had experienced telling her it was the case and pushing her down that path. She truly believes the Iron Throne is not only her birthright, but that she is meant to rule Westeros, and this could’ve hammered that home, showing why she’d go to such lengths to make it happen.
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It also would have better explained her sense of paranoia, and how little she trusts anybody. The losses of Jorah Mormont, Rhaegal, and Missandei in quick succession strip Daenerys of many close allies and loved ones, which further feeds into her anger and vengeance in the final episodes. But if that was the culmination of a story where she had been told by visions and prophesies that she would be betrayed, and had always been expecting these crushing blows to happen in some way, it could have been much more powerful. It wouldn’t be left field, but the logical conclusion of all she’d been through in Game of Thrones, which makes the decision to cut them so much worse.